The association between neighborhood conditions and cortisol is rarely studied in children or adolescents and has been hampered by small sample size and racial/ethnic and geographic homogeneity. Our objective was to estimate the association between neighborhood disadvantage and salivary cortisol levels in a large, geographically and racially/ethnically diverse sample of adolescents from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement. Salivary cortisol was collected before and after an interview administered in the adolescent's home. We used a propensity score approach to match adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods with those in non-disadvantaged neighborhoods to create two similar groups based on the time and day of cortisol collection as well as demographic characteristics. Adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods had higher pre-interview cortisol levels and steeper rates of decline in cortisol levels over the course of the interview than similar adolescents in non-disadvantaged neighborhoods. This bolsters the evidence base suggesting that place may influence the stress response system.
- Propensity Score
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies